“God Draws with Crooked Lines”

Article 2 - Fr. John Laughing

Each year St. Anthony’s celebrates our founder, Father (Fr.) Alfred Boeddeker, by giving an award in his name to those who carry out his mission to “feed, heal, shelter, clothe, and lift the hearts of those in need.”

This year, the award will honor Fr. John Hardin, OFM, a man who followed Fr. Alfred by becoming a Franciscan and by serving hope daily at St. Anthony’s.

As Executive Director, Fr. John helped reshape St. Anthony’s programs to fit changing needs in a changing economy. He helped prepare the organization for the demands of the 21st century by replacing our deteriorated original building with two new, more efficient ones. He has been noted for connecting emotionally with our guests, and for his Franciscan qualities of personalism and joy. read more…

Interview With Shari Roeseler And Fr. John Hardin

Shari Roeseler is a respected leader in the nonprofit sector, having worked extensively with Mercy Housing California, a key provider of affordable low-income housing programs in California, over the last ten years. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Resource Development, and was responsible for all the California fundraising for the well known national non-profit.

“We are thrilled to have Shari Roeseler lead St. Anthony Foundation into the future,” noted Deputy Executive Director, Linda Pasquinucci. “As we ramp up to building an up-to-date Dining Room, Shari’s leadership, development expertise, and passion for serving the poor will enable St. Anthony’s to continue to meet the needs of San Francisco’s most vulnerable citizens.”

We Need Each Other: A September 11 Memory

At 8:45 am on September 11, 2001, I was getting off the M4 bus at 79th and 5th on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I was on my way to class at CUNY Hunter College School of Social Work, where I was an MSW student. I remember hearing the radio of a car parked along 79th Street. The radio announcer said that there was a hole in the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, “Morning radio DJs are getting really desperate. That’s not a funny joke.”

Our class took a break just before 10:00 am, and one student who came in late told us that she heard that an airplane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I imagined a tiny private plane had grazed the building, and figured that the plane probably had sustained more damage than the building. read more…

Our Challenges Continue. Let’s Face Them Together.

St. Anthony Dining Room, 1956St. Anthony Foundation began back in the middle of the last century when the children of the Depression joined together to help the victims of an economy still recovering from World War II. The booms and busts of population shifts and changing job markets left some out in the cold and many lined up on Golden Gate Avenue. In today’s extremely challenging economy, St. Anthony Foundation can continue to attend to the needs of those affected by this crisis because we still depend on that higher instinct that we share with our supporters–the courage to reach out in generosity. For St. Anthony’s, that means being prepared to serve more meals in our Dining Room, which means more food to procure and more volunteers to cultivate. For those who support our work with their large and small donations, that means framing personal financial concerns within the context of those whose struggles may be more immediate or critical. For those who support our work with their volunteer time, that means inviting friends to share in their volunteer experience, as a way not just of volunteering their time, but also of moving through this economic paralysis by sharing the values of gratitude and service. And for the staff, it means longer hours, more innovative resource management, and more opportunities to cheer on those who make it through the struggle each day. The experts are telling us that, like the Great Depression, these economic developments will affect a generation. Standing with the poor through seven recessions over the past fifty-eight years tells us that the impact will reverberate even beyond that. While some may see the sacrifice, others see the opportunity to invite more gratitude and generosity into their daily lives. And while some tighten their hold and fear for their own families, others invest in those most threatened by the economy as another way of investing in their own children’s futures. We share their hope that by narrowing the chasm between the haves and have nots in this generation, we insure more opportunity for spiritual and social cohesion in the next. Perhaps these difficult times will produce another generation like the one that established St. Anthony Foundation–people pushing beyond their fears and reaching out to those in need. I offer this reflection from a new vantage point. Recently I was selected the Provincial Minister of the Franciscans. The provincial conducts many other social programs, and this promotion will enable me to guide the work of St. Anthony’s as the president of the Board of Trustees. This broader perspective has given me an even deeper appreciation of the impact St. Anthony’s has on the poorest of the poor, and on San Francisco in general. Our Deputy Director, Linda Pasquinucci has stepped in as Interim Director and will continue to attend to the day-to-day operations of the organization. And I will continue to share the inspiration I receive from our guests, staff, and volunteers. As the season moves forward, I encourage you to reach out to those in need, be it our guests or your neighbors, for whom support and encouragement may be critical. For it is truly in giving that we receive.

Thanksgiving Recap

Last week at Thanksgiving, St. Anthony Dining Room served nearly 3,500 hot turkey meals. It was touching how many of guests that waiting in line for a hot meal shared what they were grateful for on our “Tree Of Thanksgiving”.

As Thanksgiving rolls into the Christmas season, there is lot to be learned from taking stock of what all have to be grateful for.

read more…

Merry Christmas From Fr. John Hardin

Fr. John with guests at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

Dear friends,

All the holiday celebrations and special festivities happening around St. Anthony’s these days remind me that another year is coming to an end and a new year is about to begin. I’m very excited and filled with hope about these months that lie ahead. We’ll be moving into our new building in May; we’ll be serving more people in our expanded clinic; we’ll be moving ahead with the construction of a new Dining Room. As this year ends, I invite you to help all these great things begin by making a donation to St. Anthony Foundation. You’ll be helping us begin a new year of hope and helping our guests begin new lives.

God Bless You,
Fr. John Hardin, OFM
St. Anthony Foundation

To hear Fr. John speak about hunger in the Bay Area on KQED’s forum, click here.

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